bookstores don't need star ratings 1.0
as a “trained” librarian, i have an odd obsession with book stores. i simply love them and could spend hours in them. the library holds a giant place in my heart, but so does the book store. today’s announcement that borders would close all of its stores —after months of neighborhood closings and bankruptcy sales—-shook me up. soon, there will be none. how did we get to this point?!
am i forced now to use e-books or gah, even shop at barnes and noble?
my local borders was filled with memories—-ones of high school and ones of friends. ones where i discovered the classics—-and ones where i discovered none. we called it our “house” ; and on any given friday night during those years, you could find the four of us sitting in a random aisle of the literature section. yes, we would sit where there were no chairs—-just among the books. it made us happy. inevitably, someone would pull potential/familiar titles, and we’d talk.
conversation varied from the gossip of our high school newspaper staff, to friends, to movies, to boys, and simply, about life——while intermixed with adventures in/with jane austen, kurt vonnegut, holden caulfield, and jay gatsby to name a few. we didn’t need parties; we didn’t need drinks. we had the world in our grasp right at the store.
if we wanted to travel, there was a section for that. if we needed help with homework, there was always non-fiction; and if we were thirsty, the coffee shop kept the lattes flowing as needed.
it was in that time i started to build my book collection. not on purpose of course, but little by little, my trips to our house led to more and more purchases, more and more reading—-and more and more literary escapes.
i missed the closing of our borders “house.” it came and went too quickly in the first wave of bankruptcy closings. i’m sad each time i drive by and can’t stop for a quick glimpse back to that wonderful time in my life. perhaps that’s a bit unhealthy reliving the past like that, but what can you do?
yes, i know they’re silly stores promoting commercialism and literature. i’ll save more money now that the downtown location will be closing too, but it’ll never be the same. e-readers cannot replace the joy of finishing that uber-heavy hardcover in your purse OR the joy you feel when you need more boxes to pack your ever-growing collection. amazon is not the same as walking through the aisles of your favorite store and selecting random titles because the covers make you laugh/smile OR the ambiance and immediacy of my memories. bookstores don’t need star ratings—-you make selections based on how you feel that day.
farewell, dear borders. guess i’ll be spending those giftcards of mine ASAP.
sadly, it’s new era—-and i’m not sure where to go next.